Friday, July 13, 2012

A sterling reputation is lost forever

A good reputation is such a fragile thing. We preach this lesson to our children: Beware of who your friends are; don't be seen hanging around with the wrong crowd; don't do things you wouldn't want to read about in the newspaper; make your mother proud.

Joe Paterno had a good reputation, the best reputation in all of college football. But he had one friend who was not good, and Paterno valued that friendship and his own reputation and the reputation of his college above the safety and health of dozens of children. Now Paterno is dead and can no longer defend himself as his reputation is torn to shreds by revelations that he urged Penn State University to sweep child abuse under the rug, all for the good of the school and for his own good reputation. As a result, his reputation has been not just tarnished but repudiated.

A good reputation is a difficult thing to build and an easy thing to lose.

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